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Suing People

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This topic gives you a full overview about suing people and directs you to many other relevant topics on this site.

You need to know how you can sue and what documents to use.

The new District Court Rules came into force 1 November 2009 bringing about a radical change to the District Court process.  The defended witness action is no longer the focal point but is relegated to just one of several possible outcomes.  Focus is on the speedy and inexpensive determination of proceedings and orientated to settlement at an early stage.

We are a little cynical because the so called "speedy" process in the new Rules still abolish summary judgment and impose up to at least 4 X 30 day waiting periods.

The suggested simplification of stating the grounds of your claim could also cause problems because this procedure may tend to hide up the true legal causes of action rather than highlight the legal basis of the claim.  Time will tell.  A good oppurtunity has been lost to bring into play a much easier procedure.

Here is a very helpful link with forms to use.  We repeat it at the bottom of the page so we suggest you read our information first.





.....The first part of this topic has been displayed free of charge. Join up for $45 to have access to this and all other topics!

"A fun topic. I can remember when I was a lawyer's secretary. He had a wee figurine of a barrister on his desk with a sign on it saying "Sue The Bastards" but, then, he should know because he was a bastard too, but a very good lawyer. (name withheld)"
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"I found all these contract topics interesting and helpful. JD. Napier December 2006"
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"It's not fair that when you win a case you still have to beg a judge to award you costs and even then the award is always less than you have to pay your lawyer. This happened to me. My lawyer told me that there's always two sides to a story but the judge didn't recognise any validity in the other side's claim yet the nett result is that I recover only about 60% of my costs to my lawyer and the other 40% is about half of what I won in the case. That isn't justice. A real pissed off Kevin J. - Auckland - June 2007"
"NETLAW replies. Yes, we agree. What you need to do in these cases is make an Application for "Full and Reasonable Costs" and argue that the Court should (it can) make a full award. You need to convince a Judge that the other side never really has a chance of winning and that it is unfair that you should have to pay any costs. That is the way it is in the UK and Australia. But in New Zealand, it is usually only a percentage of the costs that you get back. That is unfair in many many cases. NETLAW - June 2007"
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"I am a retired Solicitor from Kent in England and the $45 I spent on your site was really helpful because I am intending settling in New Zealand and your "one stop shop" was a real boon to me. Thanks again. Arnold T. Devon, England"
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"I found this interesting. I want to sue for punitive damages and I was interested to learn that our courts are pretty conservative. I think the Welfare have quite wrongly taken my kids and I have found out that the affidavit they gave to a Judge to get an order to uplift them was known to the Welfare to be incorrect. They told the Judge that I had drug convictions but when I found out 5 months ago that they thought that I proved then to them that this was untrue yet I have now found that they have still put this false evidence in an affidavit. But they have also told other people about my "drug convictions". You have to watch these people. (name witheld) - May 2007"
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"I got so much from this site. You are right. It is better to "upskill" myself first before paying megabucks to a lawyer just to get an opinion.

I liked access to the case law and the real life submissions. Tim Shadbolt's case was a dag. How much did he get? Bud. Auckland

Thanks a lot . . . Max (Devonport)"

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"The fact examples or samples really helped me. Your topic also gave me confidence to speak up for myself. My case was a simple car accident but the other driver wouldn't pay and my lawyer was going to charge me $700 just to help. Netlaw allowed me successfully to "go it alone". Thanks. Thanks. I am on to making my own will now. Miriam (and hubbie)"
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"Very, very helpful topics on Employment law, procedure, contracts and tips. Well worth the cost.

Company name withheld by request."

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"You provide all the documents. Thank you. - Brett -Auckland"
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"Coverage is very good. I would appreciate a bit more detail on expiry dates for Copyright. Genna T.

Netlaw replies - Will do."

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"Dear Netlaw,

I am about to sue a Journalist and APN for "Defaming" my name, I have enough money to pay for a lawyer but I was quoted "$900" and hour by a Barrister, so I said this to myself "Why should I pull money out of my pocket to get Justice for myself against the big News Paper APN" and then I stumbled on to Netlaw. I have put together a solid case as a novice that could MATCH the QC. If you have an interest I hope you follow my case

I have 2 American lawyers on my Staff so it helps to! And they have found the NZ law on your site.

I will be filing b4 May 13 2008 to meet the Statutory 2 year limitation in a defamation suit.. I found that out here! at Netlaw... the proper paper work. etc etc.

here's the defamatory Article

here's the defamatory Article

Thank You

Kind Regards

Simon Romana

P.S I will be representing MYSELF

Netlaw responds: Thank you."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Alternative Dispute Resolution
"Never knew what this meant. Now I do. Needs to be read with your other civil topics on suing people etc. Pete A - Whakatane - May 2007"
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"Great. See the other topics on Statement of Claim -Some Examples - Graeme - Tauranga"
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"My wife and I found this a valuable site. We discovered that the Court staff were not very helpful so if you are filing your own papers then you should make sure you convince them that you know what you are talking about. In the end, the Court staff realised that we knew as much as any lawyer on the topic and we won most of what we wanted. Thanks to you people at Netlaw.

G & J June 2007"

"Hi Richard
I would like to get your thoughts on a proposal I am thinking of putting to our neighbours at a Settlement Conference on Monday. They have applied for an Order to have trees removed in our property under Section 129C of the Property Law Act 1952. It looks unlikely that either party will concede so I was going to suggest that both parties agree to the Conference Judge making a decision based on the facts presented and on the Property Law Act provisions. We would agree to abide by the decision and not appeal providing our neighbours agreed to do the same. This would save the expense and time of a full Court hearing if we otherwise dont reach settlement through the Monday Conference. The outcome should be the same-we are both representing ourselves. I guess if the Judge decides an Order for removal should be made he would have to formalise this through a Court procedure in terms of the Property Law Act but hopefully not through a normal hearing. Would appreciate your comments on this approach. Has it been done to your knowledge, is it feasible, are there any fatal flaws in the idea ?
Cheers Barry C. June 2007"

"Good Morning,

Anything can be done as a Judicial Settlement Conference provided it is done "by consent". We have not heard of a binding decision being made by a Judge at such a Conference in the Civil Court but is has been done by agreement in the Family Court particularly in the urgent situations of Christmas access being arranged at the last minute and the Judge convening a Mediation Conference and both parties agreeing that the Judge can determine such access on the facts.

But there is nothing to stop you trying to persuade the other side to let the Judge make a decision the Judicial Settlement Conference. However, the Judge would have to have all of the information before him or her at the time and this will include photographs and possibly even going out to have a "view" of the site. We have long advocated that there ought to be a system like this within our judicial system, perhaps by way of a souped up Disputes Tribunal presided over by a trained but energetic and innovative legally trained Referee. But we have not got to that stage yet.

By all means, give it your best shot on Monday. Put your case forward in a very well-prepared manner and be totally objective and fair-minded. you may well find that the Conference proceeds in a way favourable view and therefore you are entitled to drop into the discussions from time to time "Well, Judge, why cannot be settled on that basis?" You might well find that the other side does settle and agree and the Judge this then able to wrap it all up with an appropriate order.

Best of luck . . . Netlaw

"Thanks Netlaw
The Judge has all the lengthy affidavits, photos etc and I agree he would really need to see the site. Will give it a shot and thanks for your prompt response and encouragement.
Cheers . . . Barry - June 21 2007

"Bloody, bloody, bloody helpful. Worth the $45 alone!!! I threatened my neighbours (nicely) with a letter and a bundle of the documents you suggested and they agreed to take down two trees. No lawyers involved. You guys empowered me and I did it myself, successfully. Jim D. Blenheim"
"Thanks Netlaw,
You really gave us the tools to go into court and have a confidance that we were doing the right thing. After 4 court sessions we agreed with our neighbour on the work to be done and a consent order was issued by the court. The trees are now gone and we can look forward to sunlight on our house in the winter. You are helping average joe kiwi to get his rights.
Thanks, Matt - Taupo, February 2008

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"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
"Now that I understand the principles it has made it easier for me to prepare and make final decisions. thank you. Kirsten."
"Great coverage to have it all laid out. Could you try and give us some uncomplicated documents. yours are useful but are there any simpler docs? Keep up the good work. A really helpful website. Graeme H. Wellington - May 2007"
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

"Hi Netlaw...i have found your site very helpful to me in applying for a parent order. Anexcellent site with the right information, easy to use steps.

Thanks so much :)))"

"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
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